Lady Eagles move closer to Final 4 bonus

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Ateneo de Manila University’s Kat Tolentino towers over University of Santo Tomas’ Ria Meneses during UAAP women’s volleyball tournament. FILE PHOTO

Ateneo de Manila University vented its ire on Adamson University, sweeping the latter in straight sets, 25-13, 25-13, 25-11, to formalize its entry in the Final Four round of Season 79 University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) women’s volleyball tournament on Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Lady Eagles reclaimed the top spot with 10-2 win-loss mark and bounced back from a staggering 25-15, 23-25, 25-22, 21-25, 13-15 loss to National University (NU) the last time out.

Kim Gequillana tallied a career-high 11 points on seven attacks and four aces to lead Ateneo, which played minus its head coach Tai Bundit who flew to Thailand to attend a personal matter.

So dominating was the Lady Eagles, who erected a 16-0 lead in the third set and was only halted when Gequillana committed a service error.


“It just so happened that we play Adamson,” said Ateneo assistant mentor Sherwin Meneses, who handled the Lady Falcons for four seasons before quitting last year. “We’re now preparing for our game against University of the East.”

The Lady Falcons remained winless after 12 matches and suffered a big blow even prior the match when top scorer and team captain Gemma Galanza was declared unfit to play against Ateneo.

Galanza was hospitalized last Thursday and was advised to take a rest by the school doctor and head coach Airess Padda. Joy Dacoron led the Lady Falcons with eight points.

It was Adamson’s 19th straight loss dating back the second round of Season 78.

Jia Morado also delivered for Ateneo with 19 of the Lady Eagles’ 23 excellent sets as assistant coach Sherwin Meneses had the luxury of fielding the rookies in the match that lasted only in one hour and six minutes.

In the men’s side, Ateneo moved to two wins away of sweeping the two-round elimination phase with a 27-25, 25-19, 25-14 win over University of the East (UE) to remain unscathed after 12 matches this season.

It was the Blue Eagles’ 26th straight win dating back from last season and just need to prevail over archrival De La Salle University and National University (NU) to put their one foot to the best-of-three finals.

Three-time Most Valuable Player (MVP) Marck Espejo led Ateneo with 19 points on 13 attacks while Clifford Inoferio paced the Red Warriors (1-11) with 15. UE missed the services of top player Edward Campasano due to an injury.

In the second men’s match, Adamson kept its Final Four bid flickering with a huge 25-23, 23-25, 15-25, 25-20, 17-15 upset win over Far Eastern University (FEU).

The Soaring Falcons improved to 3-9 but need to sweep their last two games and pray that La Salle (4-7), University of the Philippines (5-6) and University of Santo Tomas (5-6) will not reach six wins to get a shot for a playoff for the No. 4 spot.

The loss was huge for the Tamaraws, who stayed at No. 3 with 6-6 mark behind Ateneo (12-0) and NU (10-1).

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